Woman Helping to “Bundle Up Sioux Falls” With Free Winter Gear
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In these sub-zero temperatures; frostbite can develop in as little as 30 minutes.
One Sioux Falls woman is now working to make sure everyone who’s outside in this cold weather is able to warm up.
She’s calling it “Bundle Up Sioux Falls,” and is using every tree, fence, and post available to offer up free winter wear.
“The tag just says, I’m not lost, I was put here for you.”
They’re wrapped around trees, hanging off branches and clipped for convenience. Dozens of hats, scarves and gloves out for the taking.
“I want people to know that the items hanging there are for them, and I think that’s especially important for those to receive it to know that it’s a gift.”
Denise Patton is the mastermind behind “Bundle Up Sioux Falls.”
She says she was inspired by seeing similar projects in larger cities, and wanted to start her own in Sioux Falls.
“I think it eliminates the need for them to have to stand in line somewhere or to be someplace where they feel judged. They can simply find what they need, grab it and go. And it allows to them to keep their dignity, and it’s quick! Even if it’s in the middle of the night they see something they need they can grab it and take it.”
Since December 28th, Denise, her husband, and volunteers have placed about 350 items out around town, in public places that see a lot of foot traffic. Her main hub is at the corner of 4th Street and Main Avenue.
She estimates there are only about 40 pieces still up.
“I’d say they’re going about as fast as we get them up, that is the whole reason that I am doing it!”
Denise says the empty trees show the demand is high, and she’s asking for anyone who may have a few items laying around the house to donate.
“We have things for every age, every gender, just doesn’t matter. We do notice that the men’s things seem to be going a little bit quicker, so we are trying to put a little extra push out for those items.”
At the end of the day, Denise knows she may never meet any of the people who take the items, but knowing she is able to help out others is what keeps her heart warm.
Two donation bins for winter items have been set up at the Downtown Library and Prairie West Branch.
Denise can also be reached at: BundleUpSF@outlook.com